Microsoft is said to be cutting the price of Windows 8.1 by up to 70% for makers of lower cost PCs and tablets, in an attempt to compete with the Chromebooks in a proper manner.

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This means that manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250. Usually the license fee was $50 and the discount only applies to products that meet the price limit. There are no restrictions regarding the size or type of device.

Microsoft wants a bigger share of the $80 billion tablet market and fight Apple and Google based products. The company, with Satya Nadella as CEO now wants to speed up the development process of new devices and get over the whole licensing thing. Windows 8 is also facing lower adoption than Windows 7, so there has to be extra incentive to use it on devices. Will the lower fee tempt new slate makers to join the ring?

  • Clive Mclean

    That’s the Microsoft I knew and came to respect. Compete in the market place, be aggressive. Make a quality product and be committed to getting it to the people through reasonable pricing. Lowering the OS price for OEM will see many Windows tablets coming out of China and eastern Europe now at comparable prices to Android devices. Thats what you want. Forget elitism. Go after the chips in ordinary people’s pockets. As against Schizoid Samsung with its strategy of producing a new product per day and selling fewer of them. Who makes 8 gig of anything today and you are a supplier of parts? Samsung – the biggest contributer to the tablet fatigue phenomenon. Great to see MSoft adopting a practical approach. I believe this will prove to be a winning strategy.